ComCare Financial Assistance: Lifeline for Elderly Financial Stability

Jia Hui

Jia Hui is a content marketer who loves helping others and hopes to make this world a kinder place in any way she can.

Jia Hui

Jia Hui is a content marketer who loves helping others and hopes to make this world a kinder place in any way she can.

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The economic miracle that transformed Singapore from a developing to a developed country in a short period is thanks to the combinatory efforts of its government and its Pioneer Generation (click here if you’re one of them). However, despite this economic progress, it’s said that not all Singaporean citizens have felt this success. With projected inflation increasing, concerns regarding the widening of the income inequality between the rich and the poor exist up to this day.

Various government assistance schemes have been developed to help bridge this economic gap, with the current budget allocated to boost these schemes. Higher tax deductions are also given to donations to encourage charitable giving.

What is ComCare Financial Assistance?

ComCare Assistance is a form of social assistance for lower-income families established in 2005 under the Community Care Endowment Fund Act. It’s one of the family support services offered by Singapore’s Ministry of Social and Family Development to extend their help to needy families in Singapore. Many families have benefited from this programme, with about $177 million disbursed according to the latest ComCare annual report.

ComCare financial aid is further divided into different specific schemes, which have different features suitable for each of their target groups. Here’s a list of the different ComCare schemes and a brief discussion of their intricacies:

ComCare Short-to-Medium Term Assistance (SMTA)

The ComCare Short-to-Medium Term Assistance (SMTA) offers temporary financial relief for low-income families who need help supporting their basic living expenses. It also caters to those looking for work or temporarily unable to work, possibly due to the need to care for the children, their elderly family members, or other dependents.

Some benefits that recipients under this scheme may receive include monthly cash assistance for their living expenses and household bills, employment assistance, and referral to other government agencies for other relevant services.

ComCare Long-Term Assistance (LTA)

The ComCare Long-Term Assistance scheme offers long-term financial support for those whose old age or debilitating illnesses render them permanently unable to work. Those who can’t fully support their basic needs through family support or savings may also benefit from this financial assistance scheme.

ComCare Interim Assistance

ComCare Interim Assistance provides immediate financial support to lower-income households. Under this scheme, families with monthly per capita household income of $800 and below may receive cash assistance, supermarket vouchers, and food rations depending on their situation.

Student Care Fee Assistance (SCFA)

Low-income families whose children are enrolled in the MSF-registered Student Care Centre may apply for Student Care Fee Assistance (SCFA), where they can receive up to a $290 monthly subsidy. Those who qualify and are approved for the Student Care Fee Assistance are also eligible for the Ministry of Education’s Financial Assistance Scheme, making them beneficiaries without requiring extra paperwork.

Kindergarten Fee Assistance Scheme (KiFas)

The Kindergarten Fee Assistance Scheme helps a child of a Singapore citizen enrolled in an Anchor Operator or Ministry of Education kindergarten by providing up to a $161 monthly subsidy. This financial scheme aims to make kindergarten affordable and more accessible.

How ComCare Long-Term Assistance Works

ComCare Long-Term Assistance is a senior financial scheme that aims to help lower-income households support their basic living needs through equitable cash assistance. Under this scheme, beneficiaries may receive the following:

  • Monthly Cash Assistance: Beneficiaries of the ComCare Long-Term Assistance may receive monthly cash assistance to support household bills and other expenses for their daily living. Rates of this cash assistance vary depending on the size of the household. For example, a one-person household will be given $640 worth of monthly cash assistance, and higher cash assistance may be given to larger households.
  • Educational Assistance: School-going children of beneficiaries may also receive assistance, amounting to up to $150 per child per month. They can also receive help with paying for their school books and miscellaneous fees.
  • Secondary Assistance: Beneficiaries in need of medical or hygiene consumables are also entitled to receive them monthly. Examples of such include adult diapers and dietary supplements.
  • Discretionary Assistance: Beneficiaries may also receive one-off assistance on equipment such as beds or oxygen respirators.
  • Medical Assistance: Beneficiaries have their medical needs taken care of through polyclinics and government or restructured hospitals.
  • Supplementary Community Assistance: Beneficiaries may also receive free or highly subsidised access to different government-funded amenities such as home help and senior activity centres.

Qualifying for ComCare Long-Term Assistance

To qualify for the ComCare Long-Term Assistance scheme, applicants should meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • The applicant must have Singapore citizenship or be living in Singapore as a permanent resident.
  • The applicant must be permanently unable to work due to old age or severe illness.
  • The applicant must be incapable of fully supporting their daily needs due to them receiving little to no family support or having little to no assets or savings.
  • The applicant must be an elderly whose monthly payout from other government schemes, such as a pension, CPF retirement sum, or ElderShield, is lower than what they can receive from ComCare Long-Term Assistance.
  • The applicant must be an elderly whose children cannot support their children due to them being low-income themselves.

Note, however, that social service offices perform a holistic assessment of ComCare Assistance applicants and don’t rely on the ComCare income benchmarks alone. They may still provide assistance based on the family’s needs.

Application Details: What to Do and What to Bring

To apply for ComCare Long-Term Assistance, the applicant must go to their nearest social service office (a list may be found here) to learn more about the financial assistance scheme and to check for their eligibility.

When visiting the nearest social service office, the applicant must bring the following identifying and supporting documents:

  • Valid identification cards of you and other family member(s) living in the same household, if applicable;
  • Birth certificate(s) of child(ren) below 15 years old, if applicable;
  • Marriage or divorce certificate;
  • All updated bank account passbook(s)/statement(s) of all family member(s) within the same household;
  • Latest utility bill(s);
  • Doctor’s memo indicating fitness to work and the illnesses that the applicant has, if applicable;
  • Any other documents that may support your application, like the latest HDB statement, documents from other assistance received, or prison visitor’s card.

Final Words

ComCare Assistance provides cash relief and assistance to low-income households to help them meet their basic needs. One of the target groups of this financial assistance scheme is the elderly, who receive long-term benefits through ComCare Long-Term Assistance.

At Retire Genie, we provide comprehensive solutions to help your elderly loved ones live comfortably post-retirement. We offer residences suitable for senior living, and we also connect you to the right people who can provide high-quality care to the elderly. Contact us here to learn more.

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